What are the advantages of skin tests in Crystal Lake?
Skin testing for allergies is one of the most common and reliable ways to detect allergies. It can be used to test for a variety of airborne allergens including mold, dust, pollen, pet dander, and other environmental allergens. It can also test for some food allergens.
Skin testing only takes a few minutes and it is done with a device that very quickly pricks the skin. After it is complete, the skin will rest for a period to allow the allergic reactions time to become visible.
One of the biggest advantages of skin tests is that you will leave our office knowing your allergen. This allows you to take steps to avoid the allergen and gives us the necessary information to treat you with the appropriate medications to manage the allergy.
Before undergoing skin patch testing, you should discontinue use of any antihistamines four days before the test. (Many psychiatric medications have antihistamine properties. If you are unsure if your medication contains antihistamines, please ask our office). Antihistamines can alter the test results.
Common side effects from skin patch testing include red, swollen, or itchy bumps. These will go away within several hours and they may be treated with a cortisone cream prior to leaving the office.
Once your skin testing is complete, we will work with you to develop a treatment plan that can include immunotherapy, environmental or dietary changes, and/or medications.
If you are found to have an allergy, this information found can be used to help us formulate allergy shots. Allergy shots, or immunotherapy, utilize trace amounts of the known allergen. If you are allergic to pet dander, your shot will contain pet dander. If you are allergic to dust, yours will include that. Allergy shots can provide patients with a great deal of relief from the most common symptoms of allergies including, congestion, runny nose, itchy/watery eyes, and asthma.
Testing for allergies allows us to help you reduce your symptoms and live more comfortably. Don’t suffer in silence. If you believe you may have an allergy and are in the Crystal Lake area, call us to find out more about skin testing.